Dude ranches offer a unique vacation experience, combining the beauty of the great outdoors with the luxury of a resort. You can spend your days horseback riding, fly fishing, and exploring the vast wilderness, and return to comfortable accommodations and gourmet meals in the evenings.
In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the top 15 dude ranches in the country, based on our own personal experiences and extensive research. We’ll also provide information on what to consider when choosing a dude ranch, so you can find the perfect one for you.
So saddle up and get ready to experience the best dude ranches the U.S. has to offer!
Best 15 Dude Ranches in the United States
Now that you’re getting older, it’s time to stop chasing the beer and start chasing wild horses. And what better way to do that than by visiting one of these amazing dude ranches? These establishments are known for providing visitors with an authentic Western experience, complete with hayrides and horseback riding. They also tend to have great restaurants on-site where you can enjoy a barbecue dinner after a long day of ranching. So if you’re looking for something new for your next vacation, check out our list below:
The Home Ranch – Clark, Colorado
Located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, The Home Ranch offers horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking, and birding. Guests can also canoe or kayak on the South Platte River, as well as enjoy all that beautiful Colorado has to offer.
The ranch’s lodge has a dining room with a fireplace where meals are served family-style; a lounge with board games and books; a library stocked with everything from Western novels to art books. The ranch’s friendly staff will assist guests in arranging activities such as fly fishing lessons or guided horseback rides through meadows full of wildflowers.
The Home Ranch prides itself on its delicious and wholesome meals, which are prepared using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. You’ll savor every bite of the ranch’s signature dishes, which are served in the elegant dining room or on the outdoor patio with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
With its stunning natural setting and top-notch amenities, it’s no surprise that The Home Ranch has received numerous awards and accolades. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience this unforgettable dude ranch for yourself. Book your stay at The Home Ranch today!
Tanque Verde Ranch – Tucson, Arizona
Tanque Verde Ranch is a working cattle ranch in the Santa Catalina Mountains, about 40 miles from Tucson. The ranch has a wide range of activities, including horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, and more.
Tanque Verde also offers fly-fishing trips on its private stocked reservoir and an impressive collection of rare and exotic birds at their Bird World attraction (offered separately).
The resort is family-friendly—but be forewarned: Children must be 8 or older to participate in most activities. Prices start at $350 per night per person when staying in one of their cabins (with rates increasing based on how long you stay).
The ranch’s talented chefs prepare delicious and wholesome meals using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. You’ll savor every bite of the ranch’s signature dishes, which are served in the elegant dining room or on the outdoor patio with stunning views of the desert.
Greenhorn Ranch in California
Greenhorn Ranch is found in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. It offers both dude ranch and guest ranch experiences and provides activities like horseback riding, fishing, and hiking. Accommodation options include private cabins or bunkhouse accommodations with shared bathrooms.
The ranch has 16 miles of trails for guests to explore on horseback, as well as fishing opportunities at two stocked lakes that are open year-round. The ranch also features swimming pools, tennis courts, and volleyball courts for those who want something a little more relaxing than trail rides!
Greenhorn Ranch has been around since 1877 and is owned by family members who have been involved in its operation since 1926 – so they know what they’re doing!
Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming
Brush Creek Ranch is a dude ranch located in southeastern Wyoming. This ranch offers new, modern accommodations and facilities; it’s an ideal spot for anyone looking to get away from it all.
Brush Creek Ranch is a great location for horseback riding, fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities. The main lodge provides plenty of space for guests to relax or socialize after their day on the trail.
The accommodations at Brush Creek Ranch include both private cabins and bunkhouses with shared bathrooms—perfect for small groups or families with older children who might not need their own rooms (but who still want their own beds).
If you love spending time outdoors but don’t want to rough it too much then this would be a great choice!
Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort – Solvang, California
Located in Solvang, California, the Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort offers horseback riding and fly fishing for the cowboy in you.
There are multiple swimming pools, tennis courts and a spa for guests to enjoy. There is also a restaurant and bar onsite with live entertainment every weekend! If you want something more relaxing than being out in nature there’s also an extensive wine cellar with over 20 wines available by the bottle or glass served at your table during dinner. You can purchase these bottles at their gift shop as well!
Rose River Farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley
Rose River Farm is a working farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, which has been in the family since the 1700s. The property boasts a restaurant, gift shop, stable of horses and swimming pool. It offers riding lessons to all levels on its horses or you can ride with one of their guides through the stunning country side. Guests can also explore nature trails or play golf at Rose Glen Golf Course nearby.
Colorado Trails Ranch in Colorado
- Colorado Trails Ranch is located in southwestern Colorado, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
- Offers horseback riding, cattle drives, and fly fishing.
- Guests can stay in yurts or cabins that are equipped with kitchenettes.
- Can also go hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing at this dude ranch.
- Has a spa and yoga studio for guests to enjoy after a hard day of riding horses or chasing cattle!
Harvest Hosts Travel Network
Harvest Hosts Travel Network is a network of farms, ranches, and bed and breakfasts that offer vacation rentals. Harvest Hosts was founded in 2002 with the goal to help guests discover authentic travel experiences by staying at one of their many locations across the United States and Canada.
Each property has its own unique personality, but they all share common characteristics: each has its own style (rustic cabins or homes), beautiful views of nature, activities available for guests to enjoy (horseback riding), and a farm-to-table dining experience where you can experience fresh ingredients made by local chefs.
Flying E Ranch in Arizona
The Flying E Ranch is a working cattle ranch located in northern Arizona, just outside of Sedona. This horseback riding dude ranch offers family-friendly activities such as hiking, fishing and cowboy cookouts. It also has a fun scavenger hunt that can get you out into the beautiful surrounding area on foot (or horseback if you’re so inclined). The staff at the Flying E have created an excellent atmosphere where guests feel welcome from the moment they arrive—and it’s not hard to feel at home here!
Accommodations range from simple cabins with shared bathrooms to luxury suites with private bath and kitchenette.
In addition to its traditional ranch activities, the Flying E Ranch also offers more adventurous activities such as ATV tours and overnight pack trips into the surrounding wilderness. The ranch is also popular for its western-style entertainment and cookouts.
The ranch provides a spectacular view of the Arizona landscape, it is a perfect spot for nature enthusiasts and those who want to experience the authentic western life.
Keep in mind, This is a working ranch, so there’s a good chance you’ll get your hands dirty, but it’s all part of the authentic ranch experience.
The Ranch at Rock Creek – Philipsburg, Montana
The Ranch at Rock Creek is a working cattle ranch located in Philipsburg, Montana. The site offers horseback riding, fly fishing and mountain biking. Activities include hiking, fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing.
The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana is a luxurious and authentic dude ranch experience. The accommodations are top-notch, with comfortable and stylish guest rooms, suites, and cabins. The staff is friendly and attentive, and the food is delicious, with a focus on locally-sourced ingredients. Overall, The Ranch at Rock Creek is an excellent choice for a dude ranch vacation and is highly recommended.
C Lazy U Ranch – Granby, Colorado
The C Lazy U Ranch is located in the Colorado Rockies, just east of Granby. Here you can enjoy horseback riding and cattle drives on their 1,200 acres of land. The ranch has a full service restaurant and bar that serves home-style meals prepared with fresh ingredients from local farmers. There’s also a heated pool, hot tub and sauna if you want to unwind after your trail ride or cattle drive.
You can book an overnight stay at the lodge or rent it out for private events such as birthdays or weddings.
Red Horse Mountain Ranch – Harrison, Idaho
Red Horse Mountain Ranch in Harrison, Idaho is an exceptional dude ranch experience. The ranch offers a wide range of activities and amenities that are sure to please visitors of all ages. Some of the features of this ranch include:
- Horseback riding: The ranch offers a variety of horseback riding experiences, from scenic trail rides to more challenging rides for experienced riders.
- Fishing: Guests can enjoy fly fishing on the ranch’s private stretch of the Coeur d’Alene River, as well as fishing on nearby lakes and streams.
- Outdoor activities: The ranch offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking.
- Accommodations: The ranch offers a variety of comfortable accommodations, including guest rooms, suites, and cabins.
- Food and dining: The ranch’s restaurant serves delicious, home-style meals that are made with locally-sourced ingredients.
- Staff and service: The staff at Red Horse Mountain Ranch is friendly and attentive, making sure that guests have everything they need to have an enjoyable vacation.
The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch – Shell, Wyoming
The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch in Shell, Wyoming is a hidden gem among the many dude ranches in the area. This ranch offers a unique blend of western hospitality and modern luxury, making it one of the best dude ranches around.
At The Hideout, guests can experience the true western lifestyle with horseback riding, cattle drives, and rodeo lessons. The ranch has a large herd of well-trained horses that cater to all levels of riders, from beginners to experienced riders. The cattle drive experience is a must-try, where guests have the opportunity to help drive the cattle to different pastures, an authentic western experience. Rodeo lessons with experienced cowboys gives guests a chance to learn the art of rodeo, and even compete in the ranch’s own rodeo events.
The accommodations at The Hideout are top-notch, with comfortable and stylish guest rooms, suites and cabins. Guests can choose to stay in the main lodge or in one of the private cabins, all of them feature amenities like flat-screen TVs, private bathrooms, and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
The ranch’s restaurant serves delicious, home-style meals that are made with locally-sourced ingredients. The menu changes daily to reflect the fresh products available and the guests can also participate in the ranch’s cooking classes to learn the art of western-style cooking.
White Stallion Ranch – Tucson, Arizona
White Stallion Ranch is located in Tucson, Arizona, and offers a wide range of activities. The ranch specializes in horseback riding, but they also have other activities such as hiking and swimming. The accommodations are rustic but comfortable with the option of sleeping indoors or under a canopy tent. Meals are home-cooked and can be customized to your preferences.
This dude ranch has an excellent location close to many great attractions such as the Tumacacori National Park which has preserved buildings from the Spanish colonial era and it’s also near Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa for those who enjoy gambling at casinos (it’s about 20 minutes away). With its central location between Tucson and Phoenix, guests can easily visit either city if they want something more urban than just hanging out at a ranch for vacation.
The Resort at Paws Up – Greenough, Montana
Paws Up is a luxury dude ranch located in Montana’s Glacier Country, where guests can bring their own horses for trail rides or opt for saddle-trained mounts. The property also features spa treatments and an on-site restaurant, as well as hiking, fishing, and horseback riding trails. Guests can stay in vintage cabins or deluxe lodges with fireplaces and private hot tubs.
The resort was once part of Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard’s expansive estate; he sold it to a group of investors in 2013. One of those investors is actor Robert Redford, who now serves as chairman of the resort’s board of directors.
Steven Yeager is a passionate travel blogger and content creator. When he’s not working part-time at a technology company, he can be found exploring the world and documenting his adventures on his blog, SYTraveling.com. With a love for experiencing new cultures and a talent for capturing stunning photographs, Steven shares his travel experiences with his readers in a way that is both informative and visually stunning. Follow his journey as he travels to some of the most exotic and beautiful locations around the globe, and be inspired to plan your own adventures.